top/htop in windows is ctrl+shift+esc

Helping a neighbor with a windows update issue today, I explained that asking a Linux admin to use Windows is like asking a Latin speaker to translate a document from Spanish. Most of the concepts are similar enough that they’ll be more helpful than a monolingual English speaker, but good guessing is not the same as fluency.

Since it was a problem with good directions on how to fix it, the process mostly went smoothly. As I complained to a Windows admin friend afterwards, it was fine except all the slashes in paths were backwards, and I couldn’t find the command prompt equivalent to Linux’s top or htop.

My Windows friend pointed out the obvious solution to me: The windows equivalent to top is not a command at all, but rather the task manager GUI. Next time I need top or htop in Windows, I’ll try to remember to hit ctrl+shift+esc to summon that interface instead.

And next time I’m searching the web for “windows command prompt top” “windows equivalent of top command”, and other queries that assume it’ll let me live in the terminal like my preferred operating systems, I might just end up back on this very post. Hi, future me!